Special Report from Bucharest
Left Home: The sadness
The Olympic Center in Bucharest
is vey quiet and peacefully; unusual peacefully. Some of 112
members of Romanian Olympic team for Athens have left with
different flights. Few of them still preparing, their competition
schedule allow enough time to have some extra days for preparations
Despite polite statements regarding
"good conditions"at Athens, gymnast Marian
Dragulescu have stated on Romanian Television that
sportsman's have to stay on lines for taking a shower, there
is only one shower at 10 persons, in the Olympic Village (and
a TV set for 8). No wonder that a lot of delegations have
choose to keep their form at home facilities.It's only one
hour and a half from Athens and they already know that "there
is no better place to prepare than home, now".
The gym hall in the Olympic
Center is old, only in recent years an climatization system
has been installed (few years ago, they have had to keep doors
opened during hot August). All Romanian gymnastics fans from
around the world have asked about "what happened to Andreea
After you saw her so happy of being selected,
it's almost a nightmare to go back to report about her...being
left home. These girls have had worked past 10 years like...
few people can understand, I doubt.
What to ask Andreea
Munteanu, after seeing her in tears, with Silvia
Stroescu crying first (despite her apparently
luck) about her teammate being left home. These girls are
like a family, the team IS their family for 10 or, most often,
12 years! Is difficult to understand for somebody who watch
them tens minutes at a TV contest broadcast.The ties among
team member are very strong, they are like sisters, even twin
sisters- not competitors, and this impressed me mostly.
Maybe they feel like astronauts, I think,
those astronauts who work hard, for a large part of their
a life, to fly into space- and in the last minute they are
not selected into the team (and they know there are little
chances for "another fly").
have a special feeling, they feel better each other than men's.
Entering in the gym hall (after five minutes of thinking that
I wish doing soccer story or be in Athens already), I saw,
maybe for only a 1/1000 second-if this would be possible to
see-a sorrowful girl. Andreea
Munteanu turn her eyes and see me, maybe for
the 41st time during last month, but first time after the
team left for Athens. She was a little bit surprised and immediately
she send me a smile and her face says all: was happy to see
me, to see that their fans didn't forget her .
don't care any more about my last night expensive reservation
in Athens, which remained un-used to be here, this girl smile
and the feeling that I was useful for her, to keep her moral
a little bit up, it's enough for me. Both Andreea
Munteanu and her teammate looked happy but
under the surface I can feel from distance their deep, deep
regret. And also their confidence that girls in Athens have
all the chances to win Gold.
Coach Forminte say that he don't
think that Andreea
Munteanu will go to Athens any more. Of course,
final decision is up to Octavian
Belu and if any event occurs, the girls
in Bucharest are ready at any moment. As time passing, it
seems that Athens Olympics will be only a TV broadcast for
these little girls.They keep their finger crossed for the
team, at 2 hours-plane distance.
made a few photo shots outside, the girls were happy to pose
for me, for Romanian Gymnastics fans and they want to salute
all of you and thanks for your support.
Even if you don't go to Athens (maybe their ridiculously
highly priced accommodations have something to do with this),
even then-your support and best wished for the whole team
are much appreciated and welcomed.
I am glad I could be near these little girls
in their most important and difficult moments of their life's.
Looking back, I wouldn't change this for anything. Forget
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